Children of Color Face Educational Disparities in California, Report Shows

Latino and African American children in California are about twice as a likely to be struggling with reading in third grade than their white counterparts. And by the time these children of color reach high school, they are less likely to graduate on time.

These are just a few of the educational disparities pointed out in a report released Tuesday.

The data, compiled by advocacy group Children Now, shows that children of color face educational hurdles statewide, but they are more pronounced in certain counties.

In Riverside County, for example, 85 percent of African American teens graduate on time, but in nearby Inyo County, only 15 percent do.

The report shows data at the state and county level, and also includes figures on health coverage and economic wellbeing.

Within some counties, children of color also experience disparities. In Orange County, 62 percent of white children are proficient in math in eighth grade, compared to only 31 percent of African American children.

Children Now President Ted Lempert called on state leaders to come up with policies that will address these disparities.

“We need to invest more in quality early childhood programs, increase access to the health screenings and quality mental, oral and physical health supports that children need, and make sure that all kids, especially kids of color, have access to excellent schools and teachers from the very start,” he said in a statement.

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